Whether you call it DUI or DWI or even drunk driving, a conviction for impaired driving in North Carolina carries consequences. It’s normal for people to ask, “Can I get my DWI charges reduced or amended to something like reckless driving?”
If you have questions about a pending charge or are dealing with the fallout of a conviction and have issues with your driver’s license and NCDMV problems, call us.
Facing criminal charges alone, whether it’s for a serious felony or even a minor speeding ticket can be tough. That’s especially true if you have little experience with the court system and don’t how things work.
Unfortunately, sometimes Googling about DWI charges raises more questions than it answers. You may be overwhelmed by the advice offered by well-meaning family and friends like:
- “They have to drop the charges if they don’t read your Miranda rights”
- “Don’t worry, they’ll drop the DWI charges in NC if you plead guilty to reckless driving or reckless endangerment charges”
- “You’ll be offered a plea bargain”
Will the Prosecutor Dismiss my DWI charges if I have a clean record?
Clearly, it’s helpful to have a clean permanent criminal record. If you can keep any kind of traffic or criminal matter off your record, you should. Your NCDMV driver’s license (or license in any other state for that matter) is valuable.
A clean driving record or lack of any prior DWI conviction or criminal convictions are ordinarily not a substantial part of determining guilt or innocence. Prior convictions may be a basis to impeach credibility at trial.
Prior convictions may come into play if the DWI is indicted as a felony when a fatality or serious bodily injury results from the impaired driving. And a prior DWI conviction within a certain statutory period may be deemed a Grossly Aggravating Factor.
Folks regularly come to us about their DWI case looking for equity. They hope charges can be dismissed, even with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
One of the hardest parts of legal representation for a DWI attorney is to explain some pretty glaring inconsistencies in the system. DWI charges in North Carolina are just different – Bill Powers, Charlotte DUI Lawyer
Deferral options and other ordinary plea negotiations associated with even felony charges are often not an option.
Generally speaking, a clean record will not get your DWI charges dismissed.
A good record, with no prior convictions, is a factor the Court considers if you are found guilty of DWI. That is helpful and important to point out if convicted; that is not the same thing as getting charges dismissed.
North Carolina doesn’t use the term DWI FIRST like some states. Driving While Impaired, by statute, does not have a lesser included offense. There is no such thing as “wet reckless” in North Carolina.
Furthermore, as the law presently stands, if convicted of DWI in North Carolina, there is no way to expunge that conviction or purge the arrest from the system.
Can I get my DWI reduced to reckless driving?
Driving While Impaired in NC does not have a lesser included offense. Reckless driving is not an element of DWI. As such, reckless driving charges are not ordinarily an alternative to DWI charges.
The NC General Assembly has also made it clear that charges cannot be dismissed “in the interests of justice.”
Prosecutors are required, by law, to fill out more paperwork to dismiss a DWI in Charlotte (and throughout NC) than even murder or rape, or robbery charges. Reductions to reckless, while common in some places, just is not the protocol in North Carolina – Bill Powers, DWI Lawyer Charlotte NC
There are times when someone is accused of both DWI and reckless driving. Criminal lawyers regularly encounter multiple charges in fact patterns that include DWI-related accidents and high-speed driving cases.
Defense lawyers look very carefully into the facts and what took place.
We truly believe your case is unique. Each case, like each client, has individual differences and therefore merits consideration on a global basis – Bill Powers, DWI Defense Lawyer
Should I take my case to trial?
Defense lawyers and other legal professionals who choose a life of courtroom litigation (not all attorneys go to court) tend to be a pretty competitive group.
We enjoy the process of litigation, arguing cases, and mixing it up in court.
At the same time, that does not mean we win every case. Indeed, DWI charges in North Carolina are complicated and by their very nature, difficult.
The decision to take a matter requires careful attention to detail and thoughtful analysis.
There are no promises in DWI legal representation. Defense lawyers have a job to do, just like prosecutors and the law officer who charged or arrested the person facing accusations.
Given there aren’t plea bargains offered to reduced charges or deferral programs for DWI, that leaves people with little choice but to either plead guilty or take a case to trial.
Obviously, there must be a legal basis to do so.
That’s why we believe it’s imperative to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Legal advice, we think, must be predicated on hard work, years of experience, and extensive knowledge of the NC DWI laws, protocols, and procedures.
We look very carefully at the basis for arrest or what may be referred to as PC – Probable Cause.